MBAs IN HOSPITALS: Here’s Why The Embattled Healthcare Sector Could Use Top Managers

One of Australia’s top business schools will offer MBA candidates training in healthcare management to meet the demands of the increasingly complex health system.

The Macquarie Graduate School of Management sees industry-specific training for future healthcare leaders as critical to meeting the demands of Australia’s ageing population, as well the general increasing demand on health care services, tight government budgets and continuing global economic uncertainty.

Doctors and medical students could also benefit as the health sector faces a challenge common to many others: the need for subject matter experts who are also skilled managers. Once medical professionals reach certain career rungs, they discover they are in fact running small businesses and often don’t have an understanding of issues like capital raising that keep the operation developing.

A study in the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP) published this week found organisational, resource management skills and effective teamwork were becoming increasingly important for doctors in general practice.

MGSM Professor Mark Compton, also CEO of aged care provider St Luke’s Care, said the new course would make a “significant contribution to securing a strong and stable future of the sector”.

“These are large and complex organisations that require some greater intellectual input into management,” Prof Compton said.

He developed the course with MSGM’s Graham Millet and said it would open up unique opportunities for graduates.

“We want people to be enthusiastic and excited about a career in healthcare because it’s an interesting area and while you have smart people doing MBAs who are interested in doing law or engineering or finance, there is a need for the next generation of healthcare industry managers to come through,” he told Business Insider.

Medical students might also find it useful, he said.

“The big focus for them is learning clinical skills, but once you end up in a practice a lot are in fact small businesses and this requires skills that come with being an excellent leader and manager, and an MBA teaches you this. We are trying to couple that together with things that are specific about healthcare,” Prof Compton said.

“We have all seen examples through our own experience where business in health, and other sectors, has not been managed as best as it could in terms of their ability to raise capital and keep things moving along to the next stage of development.

“We can see it in practices and the public sector, and more training and education, more opportunities for learning in healthcare, is not a bad thing; it’s going to help.”

The course will cover everything from the local health scene to global healthcare, health economics, policy and practices, funding mechanisms, and law and ethics. Students will also have exposure to real-world challenges through exposure to key industry leaders such as CEO of Ramsay Health Care Chris Rex and COO of Macquarie University Hospital Evan Rawstron.

It will also address the specific challenges around strategy, change management and leadership facing the health care industry, and students who work in the sector.

Doctors, nurses, aged care workers and other healthcare professionals can also study the 10-week course separately from the MBA to develop leadership and management skills becoming increasingly important in health care service delivery.

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